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Old 01-15-2006, 02:29 AM   #1
Oct 2005
Posts: 11

Hey guys,

I just watched an interesting report about the history of beer brewing on The History Channel. Aside from the fact that it was all about the history of beer , I learned that Anheuser-Busch, and some other breweries make a hop tea to determine the hop profile of the beers they produce. I was wondering if I could use a similar approach when homebrewing (like making a concoction of hop tea separate from the boiling wort to taste) then adding the tea to the hot wort before fermentation. Would this work as well as steeping the hops directly in the brew kettle (in other words, would it still extract the bitterness and aroma from the hops)?

Furthermore, if this can be done, it looked like AB (and perhaps the rest of the commercial breweries for that matter) used whole leaf hops to make the tea. Would using pellet hops for this process still work?

Please forgive me if these are stupid questions.

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Old 01-15-2006, 04:24 AM   #2
Genghis77's Avatar
Nov 2005
Oregon on the Umpqua
Posts: 531
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hop pellets are equally good with whole hops except in the aroma department. Whole hops I prefer in everything from 10 minutes left to the boil to dry hopping. Hop pellets are about 10% stronger by weight.

As to making a hop tea, that is probably just a matter of individual preference with home brewers. I just add the hops directly into the boil. Breweries are probably doing it to achieve higher consistancy of their beer.

Hop tea, aside from brewing, is a pretty good sedative, taken before bed. Also an antidepressant and digestive aid.

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Old 01-15-2006, 04:39 AM   #3
Oct 2005
Alaska, Honey, there's a moose on the back porch again!
Posts: 444
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Wasn't hop tea that chinese housekeeper on "Bonanza"?
No, I like snow, it's the shoveling it I could do without....

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Old 01-15-2006, 04:39 AM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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Making hop tea works well. If you are making a very high gravity, highly hopped ale, boiling the bittering hops seperately can increase utilization. I have also made hop tea to adjust the bitterness of a batch of ESB or IPA.

Pellets work just as well as whole flower hops (I know people call it whole leaf, but it's really the flowers)
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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Old 01-15-2006, 04:41 AM   #5
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,796
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I've had success with making/using my hop tea. I use it in the secondary or prior to bottling if I need it.

I just boil up 1/2 gal water with 1/2 oz hops for 1 hour, cool and add to the brew to taste. Of course you have to stir and wait for a while (I use a couple of hours to be certain) for the flavors to mingle. You don't want to overhop, unless you do want to overhop. I usually end up with 4+ cups of tea and have used only 3 at the most.

I use it to take the sweet edge off when I miscalculate and underhop.

Be careful though because your house will smell like an all day pot party went on...you don't want the wrong type of visitors showing up (nosey neighbors and cops).
HB Bill

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